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Symbolism (1889-1897)

 

OVERVIEW / HISTORY / CHRONOLOGY / EXHIBITIONS / ARTISTS / GALLERY / BIBLIOGRAPHY / BOOKS / MORE
   
OVERVIEW

Symbolism is a movement that initially occurred in literature in 19th century in France, and got carried on by the artists afterwards. The label "symbolist" itself comes from the critic Jean Moréas, who coined it in order to distinguish the symbolists from the related decadent movement in literature and art. In 1886 he published “The Symbolist Manifesto” which announced that symbolism was hostile to "plain meanings, declamations, false sentimentality and matter-of-fact description". French Symbolism was both a continuation of the Romantic tradition and a reaction to the realistic approach of impressionism. The art movement itself represents an elegant, subtle and intellectual style. The central element of this is an idea of a mystery and spirit. They were convinced that reality could be described in allegoric way by symbols in poetry, art and music. They believed in spirit and another reality which is rather explain by emotions, dreams and senses. The symbolism wasn’t exacts an art movement but comprehensive ideological trend. But you can always recognise pictures which belong to that period by their metaphorical, suggestive manner and romantic tradition. There were several distinct groups of symbolist painters and visual artists, which included Gustave Moreau, Gustav Klimt, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Odilon Redon, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Fantin-Latour, Edvard Munch, Félicien Rops, and Jan Toorop. As an art movement symbolism influenced significantly on such movements as Expressionism and Surrealism, which descend directly from it.

 

   
HISTORY

Symbolism may first of all be recognized by its rhetoric. In  what many regarded as a Symbolist manifesto, published in  the Paris Figaro Litteraire on September 18, 1886, the poet Jean Moreas proclaimed the value of pure subjectivity and representation of the "Idea." He wrote: "Symbolic poetry endeavours to clothe the Idea in a sensitive form which,  nevertheless, would not be an end in itself, but would be subordinate to the idea while serving to express it . . . art can derive from objectivity only a simple and extremely succinct point of departure." A week later, the poet and critic Gustave Kahn penned a response to Moreas in which he too insisted upon the right of poets and artists to disdain history and contemporaneity and indulge in a world of dream:


As to subject matter we are tired of the quotidian, the near at hand, and the compulsorily contemporaneous; we wish to be able to place the development of the symbol in any period whatsoever, and even in outright dreams (the dream being indistinguishable from life). . . . The essential aim of our art is to objectify the subjective (the externalization of the Idea) instead of subjectifying the objective (nature seen through the eyes of a temperament).


Kahn's final pithy formulation, that the artist should "objectify the subjective . . . instead of subjectifying the objective," which Naturalist writers and painters such as Zola and Monet had done, was rapidly seized upon by a diverse array of painters as well as poets as the essential maxim of Symbolist esthetics. Thus, by 1891, the young critic Albert Aurier, in an  article called "Symbolism in Painting: Paul Gauguin," was able formally to codify a definition of Symbolist painting under five terms:
1. Ideist, for its unique ideal will be the expression of the Idea.
2. Symbolist, for it will express this idea by means of forms.
3. Synthesist, for it will present these forms, these signs, according to a method which is generally understandable.
4. Subjective, for the object will never be considered as an object but as the sign of an idea perceived by the subject.
5. (It is consequentially) Decorative—for decorative painting in its proper sense, as the Egyptians and, very probably the Greeks and the Primitives understood it, is nothing other than a manifestation of art at once subjective, synthetic, symbolic and ideist.


In practise, these recipes for Symbolist art were distilled by French, and later other European and American, artists, critics, and a small public down to this simple formula: Symbolism was that theory of art which ascribed the greatest value to the representation of dreams, visions, or other subjective states by means of a restrictive and non-naturalistic vocabulary of line, tone, and colour.


Yet if Symbolism had a generally accepted rhetoric, its historical and ideological significance was much less widely agreed upon. To some, such as the painter Maurice Denis (1870-1943) who, along with Paul Serusier, Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), and Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), was a member of the avant-garde group called the Nabis (the word is Hebrew for prophets), Symbolism was a form of "Neotraditionism" that stressed Christian values of quietism, piety, asceticism, and hierarchical stability. In 1890, Denis described how the Symbolist rejection of Naturalism and embrace of formal abstraction was paving the way toward a new and earnestly felt spirituality: "All the sentiment of the work of art comes unconsciously, or almost so, from the state of the artist's soul: He who wants to paint the story of Christ must live with Christ,' said Fra Angelico. This is a truism. . . . Our . . .impression of moral order opposite [Gauguin's] Green Christ [1889} impression the bas-relief Be in Love and You Will Be Happy cannot spring from the motif or motifs of nature represented, but from the representation itself, forms and colouring."
To other critics, such as the Neoimpressionist apologist Fenion, Symbolism was an art of creative freedom and sensual liberation that furthered the growing impetus toward revolutionary anarchism. Describing the work of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) in 1889, he invoked the anarchist dream of free and autonomous nations or communities living side by side in cooperation and harmony:


Reality for [Gauguin] was only the pretext for a creation quite removed from it: he puts into a new order the material furnished for him by reality; he disdains all illusion, even the illusion of atmosphere; he accentuates lines, limits their number, makes them hierarchic; and within each of the spacious cantons formed by their interlacing, an opulent and sultry color bleakly extends its own pride without in any way threatening the independence of its neighbours, and at the same time without compromising itself.

Feneon's description of Gauguin's Symbolist painting as political allegory could hardly be more different from Denis's description of it as an "unconscious" rendering of a traditional "moral order." Thus, any adequate definition of Symbolism must take account of the complex ideological distinctions marked by these opposing interpretations. The art of Gauguin was at the time, and remains today, the chief field on which the Symbolist battle was waged; our survey of the movement will therefore begin and end with him. In between, we will briefly examine the results of the improbable collision of an antinaturalist Symbolism and the naturalist genre of land-scape painting.

 

   
CHRONOLOGY

1880

Durand-Ruel resumes buying paintings from Sisley and Pissarro. Exhibitions: April 5th Impressionists group; May outwards Salon; April LaVie moderne offices, Manet; June LaVie moderne offices, Monet.

1881

Durand-Ruel resumes buying paintings from Renoir and Monet. Exhibitions: April 6th Impressionists group; May outwards Salon (new organised, under the control of the artists); LaVie moderne offices, Sisley; June LaVie moderne offices, Redon.

1882

Exhibitions: march 7th Impressionists group; May outwards Salon, May LaVie moderne offices, Redon.

1883

April Death of Manet. Exhibitions: Durand-Ruel, series of one-man shows: Boudin (Feb.), Monet (March), Renoir (April), C. Pissarro (May); May outwards Salon, Sept. outwards Exposition Nationale.

1884

Exhibitions: Jan. Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Manet (retrospective); 4-5 Feb. Manet studio sale; May outwards Salon; May-July Salon des Artistes Independants; Dec. Societe des Artistes Independants, 1st exh.

1885

Exhibitions: May outwards Salon; May-June G. Petit, 4th Exposition Internationale.

1886

March, Van Gogh arrives in Paris. Gauguin visits Brittany for first time. Death of Monticelli. First Neo-Impressionists paintings shown  at 8th and last Impressionist exhibition. Exhibitions: May outwards Salon; May-June 8th impressionists group,  June-July 5th Exposition Internationale; Aug.-Sept. Independants.

1887

Gauguin lives in Martinique. Exhibitions: Feb.-March Le Tambourin café, Japanese prints, organised be Vincent van Gogh. March-May Independants; May outwards Salon; May-June 6th Exposition Internationale; spring (?) Le Tambourin café, Dec.-Jan. 1888 Revue independante.

1888

Van Gogh leaves Paris for Arles. Gauguin joined be Bernard at Pont-Aven in Brittany. Oct., Gauguin joins Van Gogh in Arles.  1888-9, by Serusier, Denis, Bonnard, Ranson, joined 1889 by Vuillard and Roussel. Exhibitions: Jan. Boussod&Valadon (Theo van Gogh); Durand-Ruel, exh. Inc. Degas;  March-May Independants; April Boussod&Valadon (Theo van Gogh); Sept.-Oct. Revue independante offices Dubois-Pillet.

1889

Exhibitions: May outwards Salon; May outwards Exposition Universelle; June-July G.Petit, Monet-Rodin (retrospective), Sept.-Oct. Independants;

1890

Death of Vincent van Gogh, Exhibitions: March-May Independants; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards 1st exh. of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts (founded as alternative to the Salon des Artistes Francais, with Meissonier as President, Puvis de Chavannes as Vice-President; often known as the Salon du Champ de Mars).

1891

Deaths of Theo van Gogh and SeuratGauguin leaves for Tahiti. Exhibitions: March-April Independants; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards Societe Nationale; Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 1st Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes.

1892

Exhibitions: Feb. Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro, Monet; March-April Independants; May Le Barc de Boutteville, 2nd Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards Societe Nationale; Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 3rd Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; 

1893

Death of Pere Tanguy. Vollard opens gallery in rue Laffitte Gauguin is back from Tahiti. Exhibitions: March-April Independants; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards Societe Nationale; May (?)Le Barc de Boutteville, 4th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; Nov.  Durand-Ruel, GauguinCassatt, Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 5th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes.

1894

Exhibitions: Jan. –Feb. Durand-Ruel, Guillaumin; March Durand-Ruel, Pissarro; March. Le Barc de Boutteville, 6th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; March-April Durand-Ruel, Redon, April-May Independants; April outwards Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May Durand-Ruel, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, Caillebotte (retrospective), July Le Barc de Boutteville, 7th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 8th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes.

1895

Exhibitions: April-May Independants; April-May Le Barc de Boutteville, 9th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; April outwards Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May Durand-Ruel, Monet; Sept. Le Barc de Boutteville, 10th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; Dec.-Jan. 1896 Bing. Salon de l’Art Nouveau.

1896

Exhibitions: Jan. Durand-Ruel, Bonnard, Guillaumin, Morisot (retrospective); c. March. Le Barc de Boutteville, 11th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; April-May Independants; April-May Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro, Renoir; April outwards Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; Summer Le Barc de Boutteville, 12th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; Sept. Durand-Ruel, Puvis de Chavannes; Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 13th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes.

1897

Exhibitions: April-May Independants; April outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; April outwards Societe Nationale; June-July Le Barc de Boutteville, 14th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes; Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 15th Exposition des Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes.

1898

Exhibitions: Feb.-March Durand-Ruel, Zandomeneghi; April Durand-Ruel, Guillaumin; April-June Independants; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards Societe Nationale; May Durand-Ruel, Moret; June Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro.

1899

Exhibitions: April Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May outwards Societe Nationale; May-June Durand-Ruel , Jongkind (retrospective); June-July Durand-Ruel, Puvis de Chavannes; Oct.-Nov. Durand-Ruel, Luce; Oct.-Nov. Independants.

1900

Picasso first visits Paris.  Exhibitions: April Durand-Ruel , Redon; April outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; April-Oct. Exposition Universelle; Nov.-Dec. Durand-Ruel, Monet; Dec. . Independants.

1901

Death of Toulouse-Lautrec. Exhibitions: Jan. Feb. Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro; March Societe Nouvelle; April Durand-Ruel, Valtat; April-May Independants; April-June Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May Durand-Ruel, Moret.

1902

Exhibitions: Match-May Independants; April-June Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; May Durand-Ruel, Toulouse-Lautrec. June Durand-Ruel, Renoir, Roussel.

1903

Death of Gauguin in Marquesas Island and of Camille Pissarro. Exhibitions: March Durand-Ruel, Redon;  Match-May Independants; April-June Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; Oct.-Dec.  Salon d’Automne (1st exh.), Nov. Durand-Ruel,  Zandomeneghi.

1904

Bernard visits Cezanne at Aix. Exhibitions: Feb-March Durand-Ruel, Moret, Feb.-March Independants; April Durand-Ruel, C. Pissarro; April-June Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; Oct.-Nov.  Salon d’Automne.

1905

Exhibitions: March-April Independants; April outwards Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; Oct.-Nov.  Salon d’Automne.

1906

Denis and Roussel visit Cezanne at Aix. Death of Cezanne and Carriere. Exhibitions: Feb.-March Durand-Ruel, Redon, Manet, Monet; March-April Independants; April outwards Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais;  Oct.-Nov.  Salon d’Automne .

1907

Exhibitions: March-April Independants; April Durand-Ruel,, Moret; April-June Societe Nationale; May outwards Salon des Artistes Francais; Oct.-Nov.  Salon d’Automne.

1908

Exhibitions: March-May Independants; April-June Societe Nationale; Oct.-Nov.  Salon d’Automne.

 

   
EXHIBITIONS

1883

Oct., Les XX founded in Brussels by O. Maus and 20 Belgian artists.

1884

Brussels, Feb.-March 1st Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rysselberghe; (invitees): Chase, Gervex, Heymans, J.Israela, Maris, Mauve.

1885

Brussels, Feb.-March 2nd Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Vogels; (invitees): Cazin, Fantin-Latour, Mellery, Mesdag, Raffaëlli, Uhde.

1886

Brussels, Feb.-March 3rd Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rysselberghe, Vogels; (invitees) Besnard, Breither, Degas (but refused to send), Monet, Monticelli, Redon, Renoir, Whistler, Zandomeneghi.

1887

March-May, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Cross, Dubois-Pillet, Luce, Maurin, L. Pissarro, Redon, Henry Rousseau, SeuratSignac.

Brussels, Feb.-March 4th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Vogels;(invitees) Cazin, C. Pissarro, Raffaëlli, Rodin, Seurat, Sickert.

1888

March-May, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Cross, Dubois-Pillet, Van Gogh, Luce, Maurin, L. Pissarro, Rousseau, Seurat, Signac.

Brussels, Feb.-March 5th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Vogels;(invitees) : Anquetin, Blanche, Burne-jones (but refused to send), Degas (but refused to send), Dubois-Pillet, Forain, Guillaumin, Helleu, Mellery, Signac, Whistler.

1889

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Beraud, Besnard,Carriere, Cazin, Dagnan-Bouveret, Fantin-Latour, Guillou, La Touche, Maignan, Martin, Maurin, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Roll, Tissot.

Sept.-Oct. Idependants, inc.: Anquetin, Dubois-Pillet, Filiger, Van Gogh, Hayet, Luce, O'Conor, L. Pissarro, Rousseau, SeuratSignacToulouse-Lautrec.

Brussels, Feb.-March 6th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Lemmen, Rodin, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Van de Velde; (invitees) : Besnard, Cross, Gauguin, Klinger, Luce, Monet, C. PissarroSignac, Steer, W.Stott.

1890

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Boch Anna, Cross, Dubois-Pillet, Filiger, Finch, Van Gogh, Guillaumin, Luce, O'Conor, L. Pissarro, Rousseau, Rysselberghe, SeuratSignacToulouse-Lautrec, Van de Velde.

Brussels, Feb.-March 7th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rodin, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Van de Velde, Vogels; (invitees) : Cezanne, Dubois-Pillet, Van Gogh, Hayet, Mellery, L. Pissarro, Redon, Renoir, Segantini, Signac, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec.

1891

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Cross, Dagnan-Bouveret, Harrison, Hodler, La Touche, Liebermann, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Roll, Sargent, Whistler.

Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 1st. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Anquetin, Bernard, Bonnard, Cross, Denis, Filiger, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Luce, Manet, Ranson, Roussel, Serusier, SignacToulouse-Lautrec, Vuillard.

Brussels, Feb.-March 8th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rodin, Rysselberghe, Toorop, Van de Velde; (invitees) :Angrand, Chéret, Grane, Filiger, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Guillaumin, C. PissarroSeurat, Steer, Verster.

1892

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Bernard, Bonnard, Boch Anna, Cross, Denis, Luce, Moret, O'Conor, L. Pissarro, Ranson, Rousseau, Rysselberghe, Seurat (retrospective), Signac, Toorop, Toulouse-Lautrec.

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Conder, Cottet, Cross, Dagnan-Bouveret, Guthrie, Harrison, Helleu, Hodler, La Touche, Lhermitte, Liebermann, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Whistler.

May, Le Barc de Boutteville, 2nd. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Bernard, Bonnard, Cross, Denis, Luce, C. Pissarro, Serusier, SignacToulouse-Lautrec.

Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 3nd. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Cross, Denis, Gauguin, C. Pissarro, Roussel, Serusier, Toulouse-Lautrec.

Brussels, Feb.-March 9th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rodin, Rysselberghe, Signac, Toorop, Van de Velde, Vogels; (invitees) : Besnard, Cassatt, Denis, Horne, Image, Luce, Mellery, L.Pissarro, SeuratToulouse-Lautrec.

1893

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Amiet, Angrand, Anquetin, Bonnard, Cross, Denis, Luce, Moret, O'Conor, L. Pissarro, Ranson, Rousseau, Rysselberghe, Signac, Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Valtat.

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Blanche, Carriere, Claus, Conder, Cottet, Cross, Dagnan-Bouveret, Guthrie, Harrison, Helleu, Hodler, La Touche, Lavery, Liebermann, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Roll, Rothenstein, Simon, Tissot.

May (?) Le Barc de Boutteville, 4th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Bonnard, Cottet, Denis, Filiger, Guillaumin, C. Pissarro, Roussel, Serusier, Signac, Toorop, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Vuillard.

Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 5th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Bonnard, Chéret, Conder, Cottet, Denis, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Lacombe, Luce, Moret, Ranson, Roussel, Serusier, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vuillard.

Brussels, Feb.-March 10th Les XX, inc.: (members) Ensor, Finch, Knopff, Rodin, Rysselberghe, Signac, Toorop, Van de Velde; (invitees) : Bernard, Besnard, Cross, Madox Brown, Steer, Thorn Prikker, Toulouse-Lautrec.

1894

March Le Barc de Boutteville, 6th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Anquetin, Bonnard, Conder, Cottet, Denis, Filiger, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Hayet, Lacombe, O'Conor, Ranson, Seguin, Serusier, Vuillard.

April-May, Idependants, inc.: Amiet, Angrand, Cross, Denis, Luce, Moret, L. Pissarro, Rousseau, Signac, Toulouse-Lautrec, Valtat.

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Conder, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Guthrie, Harrison, Helleu, Hodler, La Touche, Lavery, Liebermann, Puvis de Chavannes,Roll, Sargent, Simon, Tissot, Whistler.

July Le Barc de Boutteville, 7th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Bonnard, Chéret, Conder, Denis, Guillaumin, Hayet, Moret, O'Conor, Toulouse-Lautrec.

Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 8th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Bonnard, Chéret, Cottet, Denis, Filiger, Forbes-Robertson, Guillaumin, Hayet, Lacombe, Maurin, Moret, O'Conor, Seguin, Serusier, Toulouse-Lautrec.

1895

April-May, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Cross, Forbes-Robertson, Lacombe, Luce, Moret, Rousseau, Rysselberghe, Serusier, SignacToulouse-Lautrec.

April-May, Le Barc de Boutteville, 9th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Anquetin, Denis, Forbes-Robertson, Hayet, Moret, Ranson, Serusier.

April onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Dauchez, Denis, Evenepoel, Guthrie, Harrison, Helleu, Hodler, La Touche, Lavery, Liebermann, Puvis de Chavannes,Roll, Simon, W. Stott.

Sept. Le Barc de Boutteville, 10th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Angrand, Anquetin, Forbes-Robertson, Hayet, Maillol, O'Conor, Seguin.

1896

March, Le Barc de Boutteville, 11th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Denis, Lacombe, Maillol, Serusier.

April-May, Idependants, inc.: Cross, Luce, Munch, Rousseau, Signac, Valtat.

April onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Beraud, Blanche, Boldini, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Evenepoel, Guthrie, Harrison, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Liebermann, Matisse, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Roll, Sargent, Simon, W. Stott.

Summer, Le Barc de Boutteville, 12th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Denis, Guillaumin, Roussel.

Nov. Le Barc de Boutteville, 13th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Roussel.

1897

April-May, Idependants, inc.: Cross, Luce, Munch, Rousseau, SignacToulouse-Lautrec, Valtat.

April onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Denis, Evenepoel, Guthrie, Harrison, Helleu, Hodler, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Matisse, Raffaëlli, Roll, Simon, W. Stott, Whistler.

June-July, Le Barc de Boutteville, 14th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes.

Dec. Le Barc de Boutteville, 15th. Exposition des Peintres Impressionistes et Symbolistes, inc.: Toulouse-Lautrec.

1898

April-June, Idependants, inc.: Cross, Luce, Rousseau, Signac.

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Conder, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Evenepoel, La Touche, Le Sidaner, Levy-Dhurmer, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Sargent, Simon.

1899

May onwards Societe Nationale, inc.: Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Evenepoel, Guthrie, La Touche, Le Sidaner, Matisse, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Roll, Simon, W. Stott.

Oct.-Nov. Idependants, inc.: Cezanne, Cross, Luce, Signac.

1900

April-Oct. Exposition Universelle. Exposition centennale de i'art francais, 1800-1889,inc.: Bastien-Lepage, Beraud, Besnard, Boudin, Carriere, Cazin, Cezanne, Degas, Fantin-Latour, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Maignan, Manet, Maurin, Monet, Monticelli, Moreau, Morisot, C. Pissarro, Puvis de Chavannes, Raffaëlli, Renoir, Roll, Seurat, Sisley, Vallotton, 

Exposition decennale des Beaux-Arts, 1889-1900, inc.: Adler, Aman-Jean, Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, chabes, Cheret, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Guillou, La Touche, Le Sidaner, Levy-Dhurmer, Maignan, Martin, Raffaëlli, Roll, Simon. German section inc.: Klackreuth, Liebermann, Slevogt, Von Stuck. Austrian section inc.: Klimt, Kupka. Belgian section inc.: Claus, Ensor, Evenepoel, Khnopff, Vogels. Dutch section inc.:Toorop. American section inc.: Harrison, Sargent, Whistler. British section inc.: Clausen, Stanhope, La Thangue, Lavery, Melville, Osborne, Rothenstein, E. Stott. Italian section inc.: Boldini, Morbelli, Pellizza, Segantini. Swiss section inc.: Amiet, Hodler.

Dec. Idependants, inc.: Luce, Puy, Schuffenecker, Signac.

1901

April-May, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Boch Anna, Bonnard, Cezanne, Cross, Denis, Ensor, Lacombe, Luce, Matisse, Ranson, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, Schuffenecker, Serusier, Sigmac, Vallotton, Valtat, Vuillard.

April-June Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Beraud, Bernard, Blanche, Carriere, Cazin, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Simon

1902

March-May, Idependants, inc.: Bernard, Bonnard, Cezanne, Cross, Denis, Luce, Marquet, Matisse, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, SignacToulouse-Lautrec (retrospective), Vallotton, Valtat, Vuillard.

April-June Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Bernard, Besnard, Blanche, Carriere, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Harrison, Hodler, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Roll, Sargent, Sickert, Simon, Whistler.

1903

March-May, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Bonnard, Camoin, Cross, Denis, Dufy, Forain, Friesz, Luce, Marquet, Matisse, Munch, O'Conor, Ranson, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, Schuffenecker, Sickert, Signac, Vallotton, Vuillard.

April-June, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Beraud, Bernard, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Bonnard, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Harrison, La Touche, Le Sidaner, Maillol, Raffaëlli, Roll, Sargent, Sickert, Simon, Vallotton.

Oct.-Dec. Salon d'Automne (1st exh.), inc.: Adler, Aman-Jean, Besnard, Blanche, Bonnard, Carriere, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Harrison, Marquet, Matisse, Moret, O'Conor, Rouault, Von Stuck, Vallotton, Vuillard.

1904

Feb.-March, Idependants, inc.: Bonnard, Camoin, Cross, Delaunay, Denis, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Luce, Marquet, Matisse, Munch, O'Conor, Ranson, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, Schuffenecker, Serusier, Signac, Vallotton, Valtat, Vuillard.

April-June, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Bakst, Beraud, Bernard, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Carriere, Claus, Conder, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Harrison, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Roll, Rouault, Sargent, Simon, Whistler.

Oct.-Nov. Salon d'Automne, inc.: Adler, Bonnard, Camoin, Carriere, Cezanne, Delaunay, Denis, Guillaumin, Kandinsky, Lavery, Liebermann, Maillol, Marquet, Matisse, Moret, O'Conor, Puvis de Chavannes, Redon, Renoir, Rouault, Roussel, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vallotton, Valtat, Van Dongen, Vuillard, Zandomeneghi.

1905

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Bernard, Bonnard, Camoin, Cross, Delaunay, Denis, Derain, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Van Gogh, Herrmann, Kollwitz, Lacombe, Luce, Marquet, Matisse, Munch, O'Conor, Rouault, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, Serusier, Seurat, Sickert, Signac, Vallotton, Valtat, Vlaminck, Vuillard.

April, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Beraud, Besnard, Boldini, Carriere, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Guthrie, Harrison, Henry, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Roll, Sargent, Simon.

Oct.-Nov. Salon d'Automne, inc.: Bonnard, Camoin, Carriere, Cezanne, Derain, Van Dongen, Duchamp-Villon, Friesz, Guillaumin, Ingres, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Lavery, Maillol, Manet, Marquet, Matisse, Moret, O'Conor, Picabia, l. Pissarro, Raffaëlli, Redon, Renoir, Rouault, Rousseau, Roussel, Sickert, Vallotton, Valtat, Vlaminck, Vuillard.

1906

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Angrand, Bernard, Bonnard, Braque, Camoin, Cross, Delaunay, Denis, Derain, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Herrmann, Lacombe, Leger, Luce, Marquet, Matisse, Munch, O'Conor, Ranson, Rouault, Rousseau, Roussel, Rysselberghe, Schuffenecker, Serusier, Vallotton, Valtat, Vlaminck, Vuillard.

April onwards, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Beraud,Bernard, Besnard, Blanche, Boldini, Carriere, Claus, Cottet, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Harrison, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Roll, Simon.

Oct.-Nov. Salon d'Automne, inc.: Bonnard, Brancusi, Camoin, Carriere, Cezanne, Delaunay, Derain, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Kandinsky, Kupka, Lavery, Marquet, Matisse, Moret, O'Conor, Redon, Renoir, Rossi, Rouault, Rousseau, Roussel, Sickert, Vallotton, Valtat, Vlaminck, Vuillard; plus exh. of Russian art, organized by Diaghilev.

1907

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Amiet, Angrand, Braque, Camoin, Cross, Delaunay, Derain, Dufy, Gilman, Gore, Herrmann, Kandinsky, Luce, Matisse, O'Conor, Ranson, Rousseau, Roussel, Schuffenecker, Serusier, Signac, Vallotton, Vuillard.

April-June, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Beraud, Besnard, Blanche, Claus, Dagnan-Bouveret, Dauchez, Denis, Harrison, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Roll, Simon.

Oct.-Nov. Salon d'Automne, inc.: Bakst, Bonnard, Braque, Camoin, Cezanne, Delaunay, Derain, Dufy, Fergusson, Friesz, Guillaumin, Kandinsky, Kupka, Lavery, Leger, Marquet, Matisse, Moret, Redon, Rouault, Rousseau, Sickert, Vallotton, Valtat, Vlaminck; plus belgian exh. inc.: Claus, ensor, Evenelopoel, Finch, Khnopff, Mellery, Rops, Rysselberghe.

1908

March-April, Idependants, inc.: Amiet, Angrand, Braque, Camoin, Cross, Derain, Finch, Gilman, Gore, Kandinsky, Luce, Munch, O'Conor, Rousseau, Roussel, Schuffenecker, Serusier, Sickert, Signac, Vallotton, Vlaminck.

April-June, Societe Nationale, inc.: Aman-Jean, Anquetin, Beraud, Bernard, Blanche, Claus, Cottet, Dauchez, Denis, Fergusson, Harrison, La Touche, Lavery, Le Sidaner, Raffaëlli, Roll, Simon.

Oct.-Nov. Salon d'Automne, inc.: Bakst, Bonnard, Camoin, Denis, Derain, Van Dongen, Duchamp, Fergusson, Friesz, El Greco, Kandinsky, Lavery, Leger, Marquet, Matisse, Monticelli, Moret, O'Conor, Ranson, Rouault, Sickert, Vallotton, Valtat, Vuillard, Vlaminck.

 

   
ARTISTS

Fantin-Latour, Henri Ignace Jean Théodore

Henri Fantin-Latour used to say of himself: 'The blood in my veins is much too mixed for me to be upset by questions of nationality and schools of thought'. He was never committed to any of the great movements of the period, and always remained independent. He was first taught to paint by his father and then by Lecoq de Boisbaudran, copying Old Masters in the Louvre. He was a friend and supporter of Manet and went to the Cafe Guerbois, and so became involved in the intellectual and artistic movements of the period. He is chiefly known as a painter of portraits, 'intimate' scenes and still lifes; his flower paintings are famous, especially his roses. The first paintings he sent to the Salon were portraits; his canvases were turned down in 1859 but accepted in 1861. He made friends with the American painter Whistler and visited England with him in 1859; he went there again in 1861 and 1864. In both England and France he was much admired as a flower painter, and from about 1872-1874, he concentrated on flower subjects. His large canvases with several portraits are famous, somewhat reminiscent of seventeenth-century Dutch painters, especially Frans Hals. An outstanding example is Homage to Delacroix, painted in 1864 a year after the great artist's death and exhibited in the 1864 Salon. It represents various artists and critics gathered round a self-portrait of Delacroix: Duranty, Fantin-Latour himselfin a white smock, Whistler, Champfleury, Manet, Baudelaire, Cordier, Legros, Bracquemond and de Balleroy. There is also The Studio at the Batignolles, painted in honour of his friend Manet. Here Manet sits at his easel, with Zacharie Astruc, Gtto Scholderer, Renoir, Emile Zola, Edmond Maitre, Bazille and Monet. A corner of the table (1872 Salon) shows a group of friends celebrating Baudelaire's birthday; they include Verlaine, Rimbaud, Leon Valade, Ernest d'Hervilly, Camille Pelletan, Elzear Bonnier, Emile Blemond and Jean Aicard. Apart from The Dubourg family (1878), his last great multiple portrait, this time of musicians, was Round the piano (1885 Salon), with Chabrier at the piano, Edouard Maitre, Adolphe Jullien, Boisseau, Camille Benoit, Lascaux, Vincent d'Indy and Amedee Pigear. Fantin-Latour loved music and was a great admirer of Wagner, as can be seen in The Three Rhine maidens (pastel, 1876, inspired by the opera Rheingold, Scene I) and Tannhauser (1886 Salon). Fantin-Latour also did lithographs, and the lyrical individual quality of his work is outstanding.

Gauguin, Paul

Gauguin, the son of a French father and Creole mother, began painting in the early 1870s while working as a stockbroker. In 1883 he became a full-time artist. He was a friend of Pissarro and exhibited in the last four Impressionist exhibitions, but his painting did not bring financial success. In 1886 he left his family and moved to Pont Aven in Brittany. There he assembled a group of followers called the “Pont-Aven School.” In 1888, the shared a studio with van Gogh until their friendship came to a bloody end. Gauguin moved to Tahiti in 1891, where he believed he became one with nature, a feeling reflected in his later works, which is influenced by the art of primitive peoples. When he first sailed to Tahiti , he had put more than just a large geographic distance between himself and France. Since 1880s, when he first exhibited with the Impressionists, he had undertaken a step-by-step reworking of his opinions about light, colour and form. He reacted to the increasingly scientific theories of the Impressionists and their followers (especially the pointillists) with an emphatic turn to the “primitive”. He achieved this by abandoning perspective , sculptural modelling and conventional colouring. On the island of Tahiti, discovered 125 years previously, hardly anything of the indigenous culture and way of life had survived French colonial domination. Many of the pictures executed be Gauguin in the South Pacific hearken back to a lost harmony between man and nature. Gauguin could only realise his dream of a primitive life with the help of an artistic device: the lining up of figures with few overlaps, the juxtaposition of frontal and profile views, the immobile faces and “talking” hands of the women all recollect Egyptian and Javanese art. By superimposing the forms of a seemingly foreign and mysterious culture on the sober and mundane reality of the island, he was able to give expression to his exotic, primitive vision. He created for the viewer (and for himself) a simulated world full of mystery and wonder.

Moreau, Gustave

A classically trained academic artist, Moreau was a major force in the creation of the Symbolist movement. His intense, magical oil paintings and watercolours were often inspired by visions. As a teacher at the authoritative Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, his views on colour had a profound impact on his pupil, Henri Matisse (1869-1954), as well as on the Fauves and Surrealists. Moreau was criticised for his pseudo-romantic tricks, exemplified by his interest in the femme /male, as explored in his Salome Dancing Before Herod (1876).

Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre

His career as an artist was inspired by a visit to Italy. After seeking the advice of Delacroix, he settled in Paris in the place Pigalle in 1852 and worked independently. The State, after repeatedly rebuffing him, purchased La Paix and commissioned several paintings for Amiens Museum. He concentrated on hastily painted figures with uncouth movements, closely integrating them with landscape. The Childhood of Saint Genevieve (1876) dis-armed the critics. He decorated the Sorbonne (1884), the Hotel de Ville (1889- 1893) and the Pantheon. He profoundly influenced both the Nabis and Degas. Maurice Denis acclaimed his decoration of the Sorbonne and Maillol copied The Poor Fisherman. Puvis de Chavannes gave expression to the ideas which preoccupied the 1885 generation. His art was, in fact, " symbolic" and the Symbolist critics revered him as a precursor (Decollation de Saint Jean-Baptiste, 1870). One might almost call him an academic Gauguin, for in following the pure Idea he abstracted himself from nature. His classical temperament demanded from Greco Roman culture that it detach him from actuality and serve as a springboard to assist his soaring vision. Rather than seeking to recreate Antiquity, he sought to liberate the poetic power it affords to the imagination. He brought back the primitive
two-dimensional concept and returned to the profile figure without perspective. His gift for murals and his outstanding decorative ability are unquestionable.

 

   
GALLERY  
 
  Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, The White Rocks, 1869-1872, Private collection
   
 
  Gustave Moreau, Oedipus and the sphinx, 1884, Metropolitan Museum of Art
   
 
  Paul Gauguin, The Green Christ (Calvaire breton), 1889, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
   
 
  Paul Gauguin, The Yellow Christ, 1889, Albright-Knox Art Gallery , New York
   
 
 

Fantin-Latour, Henri, Naiad Circa 1896, Hermitage Museum

   
 
  Gustav Klimt, A section of the Beethoven Frieze, 1901, Österreichische Galerie
   
   
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Art: Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Graphics, Techniques, Bath, 2011.

Essential History of Art, Bath , 2001.

Jalard, Michel-Claude: Post-Impressionism, Paris, 1966.

Shone, Richard: The Post-Impressionism, London, 1979.

 

 
BOOKS

Section POST- IMPRESSIONISM in LIBRARY

 

 
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